Want to de-stress with yoga? Get on the waiting list.

There are more than 80 students on the waitlist, while others have been turned away.

Yoga instructor Christine Ojala teaches a range of skill levels in the University's only for-credit yoga class. The class had such high demand that Ojala received around 100 emails from students seeking a spot in the class.

Marisa Wojcik

Yoga instructor Christine Ojala teaches a range of skill levels in the University’s only for-credit yoga class. The class had such high demand that Ojala received around 100 emails from students seeking a spot in the class.

Claire Bramel

 

Students clamored for a spot in Christine OjalaâÄôs one-credit yoga class this semester in the PeopleâÄôs Center Gym on  West Bank.

The class, offered through the Barbara Barker Center for Dance, filled quickly last semester, as did the waitlist âÄî itâÄôs full with 88 students, according to dance department administrative specialist Hannah Carney.

And that doesnâÄôt count the 100-plus students who have bombarded Ojala with emails, begging for a spot to help cope with mental and physical issues like chronic back pain and stress.

âÄúMy best guess âĦ is that I received between 100 and 150 emails [from potential students] that I turned away regretfully,âÄù she said.

An instructor with the University of Minnesota since 2003, Ojala teaches two morning yoga sections with 25 to 30 students each. She guessed that interest in her class has skyrocketed due to the pressures of student life.

âÄúI would make a direct link to increased anxiety and the increase in enrollment,âÄù she said.

Students taking her class write two reflection papers during the semester and Ojala said that almost all of the papers include topics dealing with anxiety and stress.

âÄúThe number of cases of anxiety as well as the magnitude of the studentsâÄô anxiety has increased âĦ by 100 percent, from what I can tell,âÄù she said.

At the end of the semester, Ojala said reflection papers show that while students are still feeling overworked and overscheduled, they have a newfound ability to manage their stress.

For students who have already registered for 13 credits, the class is essentially free or included in the cost of tuition. But those paying per credit could end up paying between $448 and $640 for the class.

For nearly four months of yoga, the price is similar to a monthly membership at CorePower Yoga in Stadium Village.

While the possibility of taking a yoga class for credit is appealing to many, students also have the option to take a yoga class through the UniversityâÄôs Department of Recreational Sports. By purchasing a $55 Fit Pass, a gym member can attend any group fitness class for a semester.

âÄúLast semester, we were constantly making more fitness passes,âÄù said Meghan Edwards, a group fitness assistant at the Recreation and Wellness Center.

Out of the 1,100 passes for fall semester, more than 800 went to students. While cardio kickboxing and the Latin dance class âÄúZumbaâÄù are both popular aerobic classes, yoga class attendance numbers are more consistent, Edwards said.

So far this semester, Edwards said they have made 1,000 Fit Passes and expect to make more in the coming weeks.

The group fitness department offers various types of yoga classes with varying degrees of difficulty and style, like Hatha Yoga, Yoga Flow, Kundalini Yoga, Advanced Yoga and FitYoga.

OjalaâÄôs class focuses on Vinyasa yoga, also known as Yoga Flow. She said this style is especially popular with students due to its movement-focused poses and exercises.

She added that giving students the opportunity to take a class that teaches its participants how to properly balance their life is essential at a university.